14 Romantic Comedies That Double as Wedding Inspiration
If you're the type of bride whose ideal Friday night includes watching Netflix and ordering takeout, why not turn your favorite pastime into wedding planning? Sure, most wedding movies are over the top and typically unattainable, but, surprisingly, a number of classic rom-coms can serve as big-day inspiration—even if your event doesn't have a multi-million-dollar production budget.
While you've likely seen the majority of films that we've featured here, you may not have watched them as a fiancée. Beyond the feel-good plots, there's lots to learn (and plenty of inspiration to be found!) from movies like My Best Friend's Wedding, Sweet Home Alabama, and Bridesmaids. And if these flicks err more towards the "comedy" side of romantic-comedy, there's also a good chance that they'll teach you all of the things you should probably avoid while you're in the planning phase (like dining at sketchy restaurants ahead of wedding dress shopping, for starters!). In some ways, this is really just as helpful.
From wedding dresses and ceremonies, to twists on traditions and cool themes for an epic rehearsal dinner, there's a rom-com here that will inspire every kind of bride. In addition to the light and bright details, we've also included movies that tackle deeper topics, like navigating tough family dynamics, planning a multicultural, interfaith wedding, and finding ways to honor a late parent. Ready to embark on some non-traditional wedding planning? Read on to discover the movie you're watching during your next planning session, plus what you can learn from each.
Though you could argue that Bridesmaids is an instruction manual on what not to do as a bride, maid of honor, or bridesmaid, it's ripe with both pre-wedding and big day inspiration. We'll never get over Maya Rudolph's character's Parisian-inspired bridal shower (heart-shaped cookie, chocolate fountain, and all!). And though finding a universally-loved bridesmaid dress was quite the process, the lavender numbers Kristen Wiig and the gang end up in are beyond pretty. Also noteworthy? Wilson Phillips' performance at the tail-end of the wedding ceremony. Not every couple can land as big a band, but live entertainment directly after exchanging vows seems like a pretty epic idea. Enlist a guitarist to make the moment special or ask your string quartet to play your guests straight into the cocktail hour.
From a bridesmaid's dress perspective, 27 Dresses has it all (the themed, the colorful, and the multicultural!). It's full of other helpful tidbits as well, since it navigates transforming a mother's wedding dress (in the film, this is supposed to be an homage to Katherine Heigl and Malin Akerman's late mother) into a contemporary design and scouting wedding venues. The one downside: We really can't recommend its approach to engagement party speeches. While ultimately helpful in the grand scheme of the movie, Jane's slideshow-turned-exposé, which she made for her sister, is definitely on the skip list.
Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw's first wedding to Mr. Big may not have happened, but who wasn't inspired by her over-the-top bridal look? From her Vivienne Westwood ball gown and red lipstick to her feathered hair piece, the fictional fashionista's big day ensemble inspires brides to this day. We have to say, though, we were just as impressed by her small City Hall wedding, which takes place at the end of the film. It's a testament to how romantic an intimate courthouse wedding can be—Bradshaw's vintage white suit and blue buckled Manolo Blahniks weren't bad either.
We love a romantic comedy with a wedding that's realistical and attainable. Turns out, you can actually tie the knot at the Inn at Perry Cabin, the St. Michaels, Maryland location where the majority of Wedding Crashers was filmed. Beyond major venue inspiration (exchanging vows lakeside is beyond dreamy), the champagne-hued bridesmaids dresses and Gloria's eventual wedding hairstyle (Isla Fisher's locks were full of fresh flowers!) are other moments to bookmark.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
If you're in the process of planning an interfaith or multicultural wedding, you have to put My Big Fat Greek Wedding on your list. You'll pick up tips on how to respectfully navigate future spouse's heritage and actually see what a Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony looks like. While not everyone married a member of this particular faith, seeing this moment on the big screen is a lesson in embracing and personalizing something that isn't necessarily your own. There are also so many DIY moments embedded into this couple's big day—the bride even does her own makeup! And if you're searching for the perfect exit strategy? The newlywed's vintage car getaway is the way to go.
New York City brides, this one's for you. Beyond the Plaza Hotel—a dream Big Apple wedding venue if there ever was one—this best friend-centric romantic comedy gives a brief overview of banquet hall-style wedding planning. In fact, Bride Wars gives you insight into just about every aspect of the pre-nuptials process, from traversing wedding date drama and creating a registry, to shopping for wedding dresses (it also addresses whether or not it's important to cry when you find "the" gown!). Another helpful detail? The film's plot revolves around two friends planning a wedding at the same time, and the troubles that ensue. The lessons Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway's characters learn are there to help you navigate a similar situation, should it arise in your own life.
Jumping the Broom
Everything about the Jumping the Broom wedding scene is magical, from the Sabrina's strapless ball gown and regal high bun to the backdrop (the florals are out of this world!). The film also utilizes (and is named after!) an important African American wedding tradition, which involves the newlyweds jumping over a broom—a ritual that originated in the early 19th century, when enslaved African Americans weren't allowed to marry legally.
In Love Actually, love conquers all. The Christmastime rom-com weaves in and out through the lives of British strangers who are all connected by love, heartbreak, hope and relationships. Our favorite part occurs at the wedding of Keira Knightley's character, when guests break out into a flash performance of "All You Need Is Love" within the chapel. Wondering how to add a unique moment to your big day? Consider playing a special song as you walk down the aisle—before or after you say, "I do."
My Best Friend's Wedding
Nothing hurts our heart more than watching Julia Roberts' character pine for her best friend. And yet, beyond the tale of regret, there is serious wedding inspiration lurking in this film. Check out Cameron Diaz's strapless, long-sleeve wedding dress. How about the final scene's all-white-everything reception? And let's not forget the rehearsal dinner, where an epic sing along to "I Say A Little Prayer For You," occurred!
Meet The Parents
It's always the time to turn on a repeat, especially if it includes the funny Greg Focker! Spark ideas for an intimate backyard ceremony while you watch this movie. Just as worthwhile? Taking note of the sometimes-dificult exchanges between both sets of parents—family dynamics aren't always easy, especially when it comes to planning a wedding.
Sweet Home Alabama
Sweet Home Alabama provides just enough detail to spark (get it?) your own wedding inspiration. Let's start when Witherspoon's character picked out her own diamond (something more and more brides are doing) at the flagship Tiffany's store in New York City—fantasy alert! And then there is all that southern charm of that outdoor almost-wedding to consider. Okay, so the ceremony was called off—but that doesn't mean it can't inspire yours!
Coming to America
Laugh along to this Eddie Murphy classic and get some serious ideas along the way. Brides in the planning phase with visions of an over-the-top bash will appreciate this rom-com—just check out that dress!
Romantic comedy queen Julia Roberts has us laughing and dreaming of the perfect wedding in this cute movie. Are you a trampoline-jumping bride, like first-time-around Maggie? Or what about a Hawaiian luau as a rehearsal dinner theme? Watch this film for ideas, and then ride off into the sunset with your own Richard Gere.
If planning a destination wedding is in your sights, this is the flick for you. Think jaw-dropping island vistas and the Aegean Sea as the setting for your big day. Flower crowns, fairy lights and a bohemian island ambiance are all captured in this fun musical to sing along to.